[Note: If you haven't already you should probably scroll down a bit and read the grades for the first two Matrix movies before this one.]
The Matrix Revolutions: Okay so you successfully made a great movie with great bad guys and reality bending weirdness and plot twists and fights*. And then beating the odds you managed to make a a nearly as great sequel with even greater and badder bad guys and you maintained the reality bending weirdness and you managed some good plot twists and there were more fights.**
So, can you keep it up? Can you really beat the odds and make a third movie that's just as good as the other two?
Don't be silly. Of course you can't. Nobody has ever succeeded in that.*** Every series that's three or more movies has some that don't meet the level of expectations.****
So how did the Wachowski brothers attempt to do it? By not making a third movie. Instead they made a different movie and said it was the third.
See the first two movies were about the Matrix. People living their lives inside a computer program. And they were about Neo becoming "the One" and learning to manipulate the Matrix. We had cool Matrix bad guys (the Agents in the first and then the Merovingian and his crew in the sequel) and we even ended the things with Neo apparently beginning to be able to use his Matrix powers in the real world.
The third movie is about a group of humans living in a cave getting ready to fight, and then fighting, a bunch of machine monsters. Sure there's a nod to the previous two movies in the first part of the movie but by and large what happens there doesn't affect the bulk of the movie, which is the machine versus man battle for supremacy.
Okay, you say what about the ending? That's back to being about Neo isn't it?
Sure, but it isn't about the Matrix. It's about Neo fighting a side battle in the man vs machine war. Okay, I realize that's what all three movies were ostensibly about, but that's not why I bought the ticket. I didn't want to see a modified Terminator story. I wanted the Matrix. I wanted to see Neo pull out some new even cooler Matrix tricks. I wanted Trinity and Morpheus to realize that they too could be cool in the Matrix. I wanted what happened in the Matrix to somehow matter.
And don't even get me started on the final denouement***** Before my friends and I went to see Revolutions we all speculated on how things were going to end. There were around seven of us chatting about it and we each had one or two theories of our own. And I promise you, every single one of our theories, (Every single one of them!) was better then the way the movie actually ended things. Because really the movie didn't end things. It just tabled them for future discussions.******
Finally, I would be seriously letting down a certain friend of mine if I didn't mention Trinity's death. In truth, in rewatching the movie it didn't last nearly so long as I'd remembered******* and I really wasn't hurt too badly by it.
So, if you haven't seen the third movie before and you enjoyed the first two, prepare to be disappointed. In truth the movie isn't bad. It's biggest problem is that it just wasn't the movie we wanted or felt we were promised.
The Matrix Revolutions: B+
(If this movie hadn't somehow been a stand alone and not the final part of a trilogy, I would have given it an A- at least.)
* - Lots of fights
** -Lots of more fights.
*** - At least I can't think of anyone who has.
**** - Heck, some of them downright stink on ice.
***** - Yes, I know that an SAT word. Look it up. It will do you good.
****** - That will never happen.
******* - Maybe only ten years instead of thirty-five.